November 13th, 2020
Today was one of those days where I just wanted to turn off and turn on, to let things stream into my eyes and brain and heart. To let it make me feel better. So I did.
I had no intention of writing anything today, but then I watched Dave Chappelle on Dave Letterman’s show, and he said something I wanted to reflect on. He was talking about how we can deal with one another, as the flawed human beings we are. He said:
“We have to leave room for redemption.”
I think the way most people would read that is we have to allow ourselves the ability to forgive; that we can’t cancel and demonize people who may have just made errors in judgement. But I believe it goes both ways.
I think that people, even when they’re making mistakes or the wrong decisions, have to show us that they’re more than that.
Rarely, I think, do people try to be villains. By displaying traits like compassion, empathy, and humor, do I see them in the infinite shades of humanity that color most of existence.
Rarely in my existence have I purposefully been a malicious, villainous person. Note that I said “rarely”; I have no doubt that I have hurt people, and I have absolutely said and done things that I wish I could take back. There’s also the subjective nature of villains; I don’t know how many lives I’m in the antagonist in. I don’t know what I would do when confronted with that information, but I hope that I would listen, and try to repair the damage I caused. I may be awkward or nervous or occasionally aloof, but I care deeply for other humans. It’s gut-wretching for me to feel guilt, and to empathize with pain.
That’s the room for redemption they leave for themselves.
And that’s the room for redemption I leave for me.
The reason this compelled me to say something today is because I feel like this is a way forward for us, the divided states of America.
As much as it hurts, it’s true: you have to leave room for redemption for me. And I must leave room for redemption for you.
And if it feels like there isn’t any room, from either point of view — we need to use the little time we have to make some.